This kit was built for use with the Microsoft® Hacking STEM Project, Building Models to Understand and Mitigate Brain Injury.


In this project, students investigate the impact of an injury on one of the body's most complex and powerful organs—the brain. Students construct a model of the human brain and equip it with impact sensors to measure the effect of a head collision. Using this data, students design protective headgear to mitigate injury.


This activity requires project instructions, technical requirements, and lesson plans from the Microsoft® Hacking STEM website, including:


Build and Learn
Students build a brain impact simulator to visualize the effects of head collisions. Sensors on the simulator measure the amount of pressure the brain experiences when hit by a pendulum.


Connect Your Tools
Digitize your device using either the Arduino® Uno or micro:bit. Students learn essential prototyping and electrical engineering skills by connecting the brain impact simulator to Excel® to visualize the impact on the brain.


Visualize the Data
Using a customized Excel® workbook, students visualize the magnitude of the pendulum's impact on the brain and analyze how each region is affected. Students can run and save multiple trials to compare impact data. This data informs students' design of protective headgear.


Classroom kit includes materials for 6 student stations and takes 4 to 6 fifty-minute periods.


The project requires materials from the Carolina® Arduino® Microcontroller Kit (item #770050) or the Carolina® micro:bit Microcontroller Kit (item #770055) and the Carolina® Tool Kit (item #770060). Please check the "What's Included" tab for details.


Microsoft® Hacking STEM projects are a collection of inquiry-driven, standards-aligned lesson plans that integrate visualizing data into existing science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) curriculum. These hands-on activities engage students in computational and design thinking and situate them in solving real-world problems.

Carolina® Brain Impact Simulation Classroom Kit